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Fuzzy Druid Question
I've finally gotten back onto Kaerrah after a very long hiatus and a pile of alts. I'm GOING to get her to 80 and geared up. Now my question is, with the below kitty spec would I still be able to tank 5 man heroics? Assuming I gathered tanking leathers of course. Or are the bear specific talents a must?

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I know Nganga was using some sort of cat/bear hybrid spec for raid DPS and heroic tanking. She seemed pretty happy with it, but I don't know if she's changed it since I last talked to her about it. Unfortunately I can't see any armory specs right now for some reason. Anyway, you might poke her.
[Image: IST_Noodle2_sm.jpg]
As a new 80 (or tanking on the way to 80), I'd probably go for a few more of the bear talents.
Here is a spec that might be good until you decide to go full-time one way or the other.

[spell]Master Shapeshifter[/spell] is cool, but for bear it's not as necessary (we generate good threat without it); I also raided a long time without it in cat, and still did quite nice dps (if I do say so myself). Recently I have switched to a much more raid-focused dps spec so I grabbed it. If you really want to have it, I'd take 3 out of [spell]Predatory Instincts[/spell] and 2 from [spell]Improved Mangle[/spell]. But my gut feeling is you'll lose a lot of cat dps if you do that.

Most folks are only going for three in [spell]Furor[/spell], since it works differently now. Just shift in and out of bear until you get rage before you pull. Really isn't needed to have 5 for cat.

[spell]Improved Leader of the Pack[/spell] is awesome for soloing, but if you have a dedicated healer it's not necessary.

That frees up a lot of talent points to throw into bear talents. I put 3 into [spell]Protector of the Pack[/spell] because I think 4% more reduction in all damage is better than 2% more dodge ([spell]Natural Reaction[/spell]), and [spell]Survival Instincts[/spell] is a really nice panic button. You'll still have most of the cat stuff (if you decide to go full-time cat you will LOVE [spell]King of the Jungle[/spell]) and should be able to do good dps, but I would think a spec like this would let you tank well too.

You could also take one point from Predatory Instincts (since it is cat-only) and put it in Natural Reaction to fill that out.

Caveat emptor: I did sort of pull this spec out of thin air, so you might want to check around for better advice. Smile

For starting out in heroics you'll need every advantage you can get. With the new Dungeon Tool, people are very impatient with marginal tanks, so you want to be as prepared as possible. You also have no idea if your healer just stepped out of ICC 25 or is still shooting off the last of her "Welcome to Level 80" Dalaran Fireworks. As your gear gets better and better, you can start taking a few points out of the specific bear talents and put them into cat talents because when you and your healers massively overgear an instance the spec doesn't matter that much. I haven't tried lately, but I can probably tank everything up to Heroic Halls of Reflection in my pure cat spec and cat gear.

They really tried to destroy the hybrid bear/cat spec with the last talent rebuild, but for heroics you should be able to still get a pretty nice taste of both worlds. If you decide to raid this might be a viable offtank spec, but your dps will not be all that awesome compared to other raid-specced dpsers.

Happily for gearing purposes, "tanking leathers" and "dps leathers" are essentially the same now. There will be items with more stamina than others, and weapons are slightly tinted toward one purpose or the other, but gear is pretty easy to find now. Just grab what your cat wants and stuff it with stamina gems instead of agility. Having the [item]Polar Vest[/item], [item]Polar Cord[/item], [item]Polar Boots[/item] and [item]Trollwoven Spaulders[/item] made by a friendly Leatherworker will start you off with very good tanking gear until you get enough badges for Tier armor.
Nganga Nyeusi
He is fast and is the danger.
What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?
In the BC days, if I recall correctly, tanking leather was all about finding leathers with +Def and +Dodge on them. The heavy clefthoof set for example. Is this no longer the case? Is it just a straight stamina game now for druid tanks?

I prefer the cat play-style, always have. Tanking as a bear seems like a lot of one button mashing to me, but I want the option should I desire faster queues or if I need to pick up when the main tank dies. I'm likely never going to raid, I simply don't have the ability to schedule gametime like that- so five man heroics is my limit. And I do a lot of soloing.

So how about this?

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Pull out of Master Shapeshifter, because that's really five points to boost an insane crit rate to a slightly higher insane crit rate. Dump those 5 points plus the two pulled from Furor into Survival Instincts, Protector of the Pact, and Natural Reactions. So with this build, my DPS shouldn't suffer noticeably, but will my survivability suffer horribly without Thick Hide? Is that 10% to base armor going to mean the difference between Win! and getting punched in the face by my healer? I'd like to keep improved leader of the pack and I figured 2% dodge is more total mitigation than 4% increased base armor.

I had figured I'd run heroics as a cat at first, using the queue time to clean up quests for gold- then once I've got a few purples under my belt start queuing as a tank.

Side note: How do you do the mouse over links for skills and items in phpBB?
Bears no longer need any defense at all. Hurrah to [spell]Survival of the Fittest[/spell] for making us crit-immune. Stam and agi (for crit, armor and dodge) are pretty much the way to go. Crit is nice now because of [spell]Savage Defense[/spell], as is strength and attack power. We still love dodge. You will also want hit and expertise (more so as a bear than as a cat at the heroic level), because missed, dodged and parried attacks by tanks don't generate threat. Defense/strength necks, rings and cloaks are not at all bad for bears, and you'll find a lot more of them. We still get a tiny bit of avoidance from defense, just don't need it specifically anymore.

Your spec looks good: probably can get away without the extra armor but you'll just need to play it by ear. I'm sure there are lots of mathy arguments in both directions for armor vs dodge, I'm not even close to wanting to go there. Big Grin I went without it and seemed fine, but I didn't tank all that much.

I agree on Imp LotP if you like to solo, it's really great for that. I'd have a very hard time making a spec without it.

And yes, you will get tons of blues, both tank and dps, if you just run tons of instances as a cat. Get your emblem gear and then be able to choose whichever role you want to play.

To make the links, I just use the buttons at the top of the text box. Abilities are {spell}Ability Name{/spell} (with [ ] instead of the { } for the code to work), or just click the spell button and type the ability name in.

Edit: Wanted to add that you can carry around several bear and cat glyphs, and swap them when you need to change roles. This can really help boost each role, and glyphs are very cheap. Well, the materials for them are, anyway. Get mats and have a buddy make a nice selection for you.
Nganga Nyeusi
He is fast and is the danger.
What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?
So far, so good. Hit 80 last night and over the weekend there were multiple instances where I took over for a dead tank or a leaver. Garnered some positive feedback from healers. I've got 2 pieces of the low level T9 (gloves and shoulders for the cheapest 2 piece bonus), probably going to get 2 more pieces before I start queuing as a tank. I've found the best way to figure out tanking as a bear was to go solo some elites, really helps learning the mechanics when you have no healer.

I'm sitting on 20K health, 20K armor, and ~29% dodge right now. So if anyone needs a tank, gimme a whistle.

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